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Bondy, A. & Frost, L. (1998). The picture exchange communication system.

Seminars in Speech and Language, 19, 373–389.
Abstract: The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) was developed as a means to teach children with autism and related developmental disabilities a rapidly acquired, self‐initiating, functional communication system. Its theoretical roots combine principles from applied behavior analysis and guidelines established within the field of alternative and augmentative communication. This approach has several potential advantages relative to imitation‐based strategies (both vocal and gestural) and symbol selection strategies. The system begins with the exchange of simple icons but rapidly builds “sentence” structure. The system also emphasizes developing the request function prior to developing responding to simple questions and commenting. The development of requesting with a sentence structure also permits the rapid development of attributes more traditionally taught within a receptive mode. The relationship between the introduction of PECS and various other behavioral issues (i.e., social approach and behavior management) as well as its relationship to the codevelopment of speech are reviewed.

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